Hello, everyone! Just wanted to share a small update! My third term in university just started two weeks ago, and I’ve been keeping myself pretty occupied lately.
First, if you noticed on my blog, I have a new tab labeled “Features (When in Manila)”. I’ve finally achieved my dream of being an actual contributor to a website/publication! I’ve published one article so far and there’s another one on the way! Thank you for all the love and support! I’m one step closer to achieving my dreams!
Second, I’ve bought/got some things this month and I want to share them with you!
A bit of a delayed post since I’ve been having trouble uploading all the pictures, but here it finally is! 🙂
After 8 months, I’m extremely lucky enough to go back to Tokyo, Japan! I was in charge of creating the itinerary and planning other details alongside my aunt – which was a really exciting and awesome responsibility!I was looking forward to this trip for several months – it’s what kept me going in school (“Suffer now, enjoy later”) as I spent fewer hours sleeping and more hours into school work. Like my previous travel/ Japan posts (click here to read one), I’ll break down my trip per day. For this trip, I went with my grandmother and my two aunts (all from father’s side)!
Day 1: April 11
Our flight to Tokyo, Japan leaves at 9AM, so my family and I were in the airport by 5:30AM. After dropping our bags off, we headed for the airport lounge for a light breakfast (since they’ll also be serving brunch in the plane later on) as we waited for our boarding time.
I was itching to leave since at this time of the year, it’s really hot here in the Philippines and I’m missing the cool air of Spring. Fast forward to four hours, we finally landed!
I was immediately hit with nostalgia when I saw all the Japanese characters all around and when I heard “arigatou gozaimasu” from the usual “thank you” and “salamat” that I hear at home. I was grinning from ear to ear as we made our way to the Narita Express to catch a train to Shibuya.
Honey hotteok (pronounced ‘ho-tok’) is something like a “Korean filled pancake bread” and is a popular Korean street food. It got me curious – I’ve never tried to make any Korean food yet, so why not try something new? (Plus the fact that I won’t be using an oven?) The best part is that the ingredients aren’t too difficult to attain (also, I didn’t need to go to the supermarket for this recipe since I had everything I needed at home)!
Here are the ingredients:
For the dough: Bread flour 400g, Dry Yeast 6g, Salt 6g,
Sugar 45g, Milk 240g, 1 Egg, Butter 60g
For the filling:
Honey 60g, Brown sugar 100g, Water 100g,
Corn starch 20g, Cinnamon Powder 1/4 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Last week, on the tenth of February, I finally turned 19. It was such a bittersweet feeling because this would be my last year where I’d have a “1” at the beginning of my age. I’m starting to feel my age catch up to me – before I know it, I’ll be 20 already (which feels really weird since I feel like I’m 17, I probably look 16, but I’m already 19?!)
On my actual birthdate, I didn’t really do much but stay at home and have a quiet day with my family. We had the cliché Filipino birthday party food of spaghetti and fried chicken (courtesy of Amber’s HAHA).
Forget A Walk to Remember, yesterday was a day to remember!
Yesterday – February 4, 2017 – I met up with some of my Filipino / Philippine-based friends from when I went on an exchange program in Japan last year. We met because of the exchange program, and have been good friends ever since! Anyways, we decided to head for the Katipunan area because initially, we wanted to eat at a restaurant situated in that area. We changed our minds later on when we were weighing out the cost of the imaginary possible bill. Instead, we decided to tick one thing off our bucket list: going to Breakout Philippines.
If you’ve been following my blog or my social media accounts, you’ll probably know or have some kind of idea that I’ve been going to escape games a lot. Yesterday would mark my 5th time. One reason I keep going back is because escape games are so much fun; my mind and my observation skills are tested here along with teamwork and cooperation with friends. Another reason would be the fact that I was never able to successfully escape yet. I’ve had a lot of close calls (99% – ugh, 60%, 80%, and 70%), but I never got to escape…
UNTIL THIS DAY:
BAM. WE ESCAPED with twenty seconds to spare! The last five minutes were really intense; we were ready to give up and call it quits when the last clue revealed itself – there was a lot of screaming and running afterward.
A Magnum is basically a type of luxury ice cream sold in the supermarkets. It’s made with Belgian chocolate and all the works. Personally, I like Magnum ice creams – especially the dark chocolate one with almonds. Anyways, Magnum opens up these little pop-up shops in different countries wherein you can make your own Magnum bars with your choice of toppings. When it opened here in the Philippines, people went crazy for it.
I know the hype for Magnum Manila is pretty down already, but I never really got the opportunity to try it until recently. I was in the area when I decided “today is the day I’m going to try this thing”. I went up to the store in Mall of Asia and my eyebrows raised a bit when I saw the price (I mean, I could buy almost 3 regular Magnums with that price).
I still decided to go for it since I knew it would be some kind of experience on way or another.
[Maybe a more fitting title would be Sophie TRIES to Bake Again: Chocolate Chip Melon Pan]
A few weeks ago, I discovered this channel on YouTube called Peaceful Cuisine which is basically a cooking and baking channel dedicated to fill your eyes and ears with quiet cooking (I find it incredibly relaxing) – but not your stomach, unfortunately. There was this one video that captured my attention: Chocolate Chip Melon Pan. Melon pans, in general, are really good. [A melon pan is basically a sweet bread with crisp cookie dough on top.] I always buy one whenever I go to a Japanese bakeshop here in the Philippines and I make it a point to eat one whenever I visit the Land of the Rising Sun. It’s one of my ultimate comfort foods.
I absolutely love Japanese food so when I saw “Melon Pan” I immediately clicked on the video – and the fact that it had chocolate chips? I knew that I had to eat it. I’m sure that everyone has this thing they do wherein they watch people cook or bake online, drool at the thought the final product, but end up never really making it for themselves because of laziness or other excuses? Well, I’m usually like that, but for some strange reason I wanted to make Chocolate Chip Melon Pans. I grabbed some paper and wrote down all the ingredients I had to buy.
Last December 28, 2016, to January 1, 2017, my family and I decided to go local and went to Palawan for our New Year celebration. We rode the plane for a one and a half hour flight for Puerto Princessa.
On our first day, we stayed in Puerto Princessa and checked in Aziza Paradise Hotel. It was my first time to go to Palawan, so I was pleasantly surprised by the quiet beauty of the place. We arrived pretty late in the afternoon, so we headed to the nearby mall for some last-minute shopping for the beach and had a quiet dinner in the hotel restaurant.
We all went to bed early, because we had an early start the next day since we’ll be heading for El Nido by bus. I braced myself for the 6-hour long journey. (Luckily, I prepared for the trip beforehand and loaded my phone with three seasons of FRIENDS!)
Fast forward to six to seven hours later, we finally arrived at our inn! We stayed in the MaryGold Beachfront Inn, which had a beautiful view of the beach:
We spent the remainder of the day playing in the sand and swimming in the beach.
A quote from Teen Beach Movie’s “Falling For Ya” – “the day started ordinary…” (this song is too catchy). Anyways, the day DID start off as ordinary, but at the end of the day I’m 100% sure I’ll never forget it.
Last year on the 5th of November, my cousin, Mika, and I decided to go to the TLC Festival in Bonifacio Global City.
We were really excited when we saw this poster because Buddy Valastro (a.k.a. the Cake Boss/Kitchen Boss) would be coming! I used to obsess over his show, watching episode after episode as Buddy and his team/family would make a cake from scratch and mold it into great works of art. (Try watching one episode here!)
Early in the morning of the 5th, I headed for Bonifacio High Street to meet up with my cousin. I pre-registered for the event so I lined up to get my pass. The line was so long and the heat of the sun didn’t really help, but after 30 minutes, I got my pass and was able to meet up with my cousin.
A few weeks ago, I met up with some of my friends – we started our day with some brunch at Theo’s Café!
I ordered the Waffle + Bacon + Egg – which tasted so good! The waffle is soft and had a creamy taste, the bacon is just the right balance of crunchy and chewy (with the right tad of sweetness), and the egg is done just the way I like it (sunny side up with a runny yolk). On top of it all, it also came with free coffee!